Folks, not to brag, but I've all but stopped using social media for a month now (by circumstance rather than by choice) and it's been a lovely holiday for the mind. It also means, in case you're wondering why my boasting is relevant, this month's newsletter is a short one. That's right, like many millennials, I source most of my news from the socials, and that includes Chinese-lit related news.
Here's to a more jampacked newsletter next month, when I inevitably fall back into old habits.
In the meantime, direct your attention toward the upcoming Aberdeen Festival of Translation. By upcoming, I mean it starts on Monday 13th June with a workshop led by Nicky Harman. But there is plenty more to come.
Check out this brilliant conversation between renowned Chinese writer and UK-based novelist, Xiaolu Guo郭小櫓 and publisher James Tookey of Peirene Press, led by our Emily Jones and held to mark the launch of The Paper Republic Guide to Contemporary Chinese Literature. The Guide begins with an in-depth introduction by Xiaolu, followed by biogs of almost 100 of the most important writers working in the Chinese language today, and essays ranging from the role of the author to science fiction to popular Chinese internet literature.
Following its well-received debut last year, our online programme of paid workshops and free talks focusing on literary translation run in conjunction with Aberdeen Confucius Institute is back for 2022, running from 13 June to 2 July.
Events are aimed at professional and aspiring translators, and will cover a wide and fascinating range of topics.
This issue comes with a set of brilliant answers to questions we put to three Chinese-Spanish translators, as a continuation of our previous collab with their respective translator collectives. See those answers here. We hope to have more collaboration with Chinese translators and publishers into more languages besides Chinese, so if you fall into one of those categories, feel free to get in touch.
First, let me direct your attention to the great events there are coming up, which for the first time in a long time are all in person. So Londoners and Copenhageners, get to booking.
Oh, and remember news of Han Song's new novel Hospital, coming out from Amazon Crossing (read our chat with acquiring editor Gabriella Page-Fort here? We've got a look at the striking cover, check it out!
Join us for an evening with renowned Chinese writer and UK based novelist, Xiaolu Guo 郭小櫓 in conversation with publisher James Tookey as they dive into layers of contemporary Chinese literature, writing and publishing in and outside the Chinese speaking context, and share their personal experiences as writer and publisher.
The event will mark the in-person launch of The Paper Republic Guide to Contemporary Chinese Literature, a collection of biographical entries covering almost 100 of the most important writers working in the Chinese language today, from Anni Baby to Zhang Yueran, by way of Nobel Prize-winner Mo Yan. The publication covers a wide range of writers from China, Hong Kong, UK, US and topics ranging from Chinese academic writing, science fiction to popular Chinese internet literature.
Xiaolu Guo 郭小櫓
Xiaolu Guo is a writer and film-maker. Her novels include A Concise Chinese–English Dictionary for Lovers, shortlisted for the 2007 Orange Prize for Fiction. Her memoir Nine Continents received the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2017. Her recent novel A Lover’s Discourse was published by Grove Atlantic in 2020, and was shortlisted for the Goldsmith Prize. She has also directed feature films including She, A Chinese and won the Golden Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival 2009. She lives in Berlin and London.
James Tookey is the co-publisher at Peirene Press, an independent publisher with a specialism in translated books.
In this panel, we will hear from representatives of three innovative platforms for the independent publishing of translated fiction. Jen Calleja (Praspar Press), Emily Jones (Paper Republic), and Aina Marti (Heloise Press) will share their stories and experiences, and discuss the current state of literary translation from multiple perspectives.
Stephen Spender Prize for poetry in translation 2022 | Opening for entries on Wednesday 4 May, closing 15 July
Translate any poem from ANY language into English, and win cash prizes! Language lovers and budding poets of all ages are warmly invited to take part in the 2022 Stephen Spender Prize for poetry in translation, with categories for young people (14-and-under, 16-and-under and 18-and-under) and an open category for adults.
Duck! Here comes your erratic, out of the blue newsletter on all things Chinese lit in translation.
Now, I know what you're thinking, it hasn't been a month since the last one. But bear with us, we're still finetuning how long we have between each edition before they become unwieldy. So here is a petite, slimline edition.
Happily, it's still as nutritious as ever, chocker with links to good news, good writing* and good times.
*poetry in particular this time around!
A quick reminder first that Bristol Translates and BCLT Summer School are still open for applications. The former will have Nicky Harman and me (Jack Hargreaves) teaching the Chinese strand, swapping and changing between the classes from the mornings to the afternoons; the latter has Jeremy Tiang running the Literature from Taiwan workshop alongside Writer-in-Residence Kan Yao-Ming.
Hello one and all, this month's newsletter is packed with stories, poems and, much more so than usual, top notch podcasts for your all reading and listening pleasures. We'd also like to plug another newsletter we've been reading and loving recently, The Slow Chinese每周漫闻, which is a resource to help you learn, use, and understand Chinese language the way people speak it today. The link there is for one recent instalment, but there are many, many more you can choose from on the site.
Also, some of you may have noticed in our annual roll call for 2021 that, for the first time, we included links to lists of published translations into other languages besides English. We would like to do more to promote and work with translators and publishers of Chinese fiction working in other languages, so this month we have the pleasure of sharing a roundup of news about Chinese literature in Spanish, from China traducida y por traducir in collaboration with DIGITRANS, which can be found beneath the usual news pieces. Unfortunately, some of the events mentioned in this roundup have already passed, but do keep your eyes out for similar happening in the future.
And last but certainly not least, just in case you've managed to miss the announcement, the Paper Republic Guide to Contemporary Chinese Literature is out now and available to purchase in paperback and ebook form. Known affectionately as The Guide, the publication features detailed biographical entries covering almost 100 of the most important writers working in the Chinese language today, alongside in-depth essays on topics like the role of the author, women's writing and Sci-Fi. We've already held one successful launch event in partnership with Aberdeen University Confucius Institute, and we have another coming up on Wed April 27th with China Institute, as well as one more in the works for anyone who is London-based (keep your eyes peeled for details about that). If you have questions or issues re: buying the Guide or registering for the event, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us at email@example.com
Chinese literature can offer readers an extraordinary window into China, but for newcomers to this rich and complex world, where does one begin?
On Wednesday, April 27, China Institute joins Paper Republic to celebrate the publication of their Guide to Contemporary Chinese Literature, a distillation of the knowledge and experience of the Paper Republic team, and of translators and academics in the broader community, into an authoritative 300-page bird’s-eye view of Chinese fiction since the middle of last century.
This roundtable event brings together three contributors to the Guide: Paper Republic co-founder, Eric Abrahamsen, and two essay authors, Ping Zhu and Dylan Levi King, who are also authors, translators, and specialists in their own right. They will be discussing the length, breadth, and depth of contemporary Chinese literature, describing the importance of the Guide in its first edition and how that will expand in the future, and sharing sneak peeks into their essays and the Guide’s contents.
Perhaps the best way to get at what being a writer has meant and might now mean in contemporary Chinese society is to pull a few names out of the pantheon and figure out why their busts are on the mantle.
We are delighted to announce the publication, today, of our new and definitive guide to contemporary Chinese Literature. It features in-depth essays, including an introduction by prize-winning film-maker and author Xiaolu Guo on what reading Chinese authors means to her, and nearly one hundred biographies of contemporary Chinese authors. Buy it here in paperback or Kindle
A few of us had the pleasure of hearing Shiyan Xu speak at the launch of Paper Republic's latest Reads series, Figures in a Landscape, a partnership with Perspectives in the Arts and Humanities Asia to present short stories from their double issue dedicated to Nanjing literature. We thought a conversation with her about her most recent book, Mo Yan Speaks: Lectures and Speeches by the Nobel Laureate from China, would make for the perfect next feature. Enjoy!